Wednesday 19 November 2008

Kent Wedding Photographer - Cloning in Photoshop

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I'm just putting an album together for Kim and Chris whose wedding I shot recently - check out their gallery.

I let clients decide which photos should be included in their albums and Kim and Chris chose the above shot of one of their ushers at the Church gates - unfortunately, it also features a pair of traffic cones! I normally try and physically remove any distractions before taking a shot but it was raining hard and there was no dry spot to rest my camera. I decided to take the shot anyway and then clone out the offenders in Photoshop in post-production.

The clone stamp tool in Photoshop is incredibly powerful but very easy to use. Sample pixels by clicking on your image with the alt-key pressed and then click and paint these samples into a new spot on the image. If you tick 'aligned' in the toolbar it fixes the spatial relationship established between the sample point and first painting point for all future painting actions. If 'aligned' is not ticked the cursor returns to the original sample point for all future painting actions. If you put 'caps lock' on the cursor changes to a crosshair, which allows for more accurate painting. I tend to keep the brush very soft unless I have to clone up to an edge. The trick to good cloning is frequent sampling. If the image has very distinctive areas, try to avoid cloning them repeatedly as the resulting patterns tend to be easily noticed.

It would be great if Adobe Lightroom had this functionality - the current clone and heal tool is very limited.

Check out more of my photography here: wedding photographer in Kent

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